CS 101 (Spring 1999)
Grading Policy

CS101 strives for a non-competetive learning environment. Our aim is to help you learn, not filter you out. To avoid putting you in competition with your classmates, we will not compare students in the determination of grades for CS101. No "means" are used and there are no "curves." Instead, your course grade will be based an absolute scale that tries to measure how well you meet the learning expectations established by the instructor.  The grading scale for the course will be approximately as follows. Students within two percentage points of each border will be considered on an individual basis. If you are taking the course on a pass/fail basis, 60% is the minimum passing grade.
Percentage Grade
98-up A+
93-97 A
90-92 A-
88-89 B+
83-87 B
80-82 B-
78-79 C+
73-77 C
70-72 C-
60-69 D
0-60 F
Your total course grade will be based on the following components:
Class Participation (10%)
You are encouraged to ask questions and participate in class discussions. If you are confused about something, so is somebody else; he or she would be grateful if you would ask a question to clear up the confusion. Because the class size this semester is large, the following mechanism is adopted to foster participation.
  • At several times during the semester, expect that you will be called upon by name to answer a question.
  • The names of those who might be called will be written on the board at the start of class.
  • If you have a special circumstance that renders you unprepared to answer questions at a given lecture, please notify the instructor by e-mail prior to class. You may do this up to three times in the semester.
If you participate voluntarily, you will not be called upon at random.
Quizzes (10%)
Because the labs are demanding, homework will not be assigned in this course. However, to make sure that you keep up with material, and to provide you with a mechanism for preparing for exams, a quiz will be given nearly every week. This works as follows.
  • About a week prior to the quiz date, a list of 6 questions will be published.
  • On the quiz date, a die will be thrown by a student in the class.
  • Books and notes are put away.
  • A question very similar to the chosen published question will be written on the board.
  • You have 5 minutes to answer the question.
The questions are intended to be straightforward. If you keep up with the material in the class, almost no preparation may be necessary. The
Collaboration Policy allows you to study in groups for the quizzes, but you are on your own when you take the quiz.
Lab Assignments (45%)
The part of the lab assignment that you turn in will be graded carefully and returned promptly. Please read our comments so that you do not repeat the same mistakes on future assignments. Remember that getting the lab to "work" does not assure you of a perfect grade. Similarly, getting a perfect grade doesn't mean that you can't learn something by reading our comments.

Almost all of the labs include a design and demo component. Within each lab, your efforts are weighted as follows.

Component Weight
Design 25%
Code 50%
Demo 25%
Because your design is graded and turned back to you, the code need not follow your original design. Hopefully you will improve the design prior to coding the assignment.

Just as in an English composition class, it is very important that you take the time to make sure that your solution is clear and well-explained. Follow the CS101 Style Guide and strive for elegance!

Also, be sure that you understand the Late Policy and the Policy on Collaboration.

2 Exams (15% midterm and 20% final exam, for a total of 35%)
There will be one in-class exams and one final exam that will evaluate your understanding of concepts covered in lecture. There will be a review session for each exam.

Administrative Office Hours

If you have concerns about your grade at any time during the course, please see the instructor or contact a CS101 Head TA. The Head TAs will hold specially designated administrative office hours in the Graders Office at the times shown on the consulting hours schedule. At those times, you can Please do not direct these kinds of questions to other TAs, unless it is a question about a lab graded by that particular TA. Thank you.